More than 200 Boots stores across the UK are at risk of being closed by the retailers’ American owner Walgreens Boots Alliance as it strives to cut $1bn in costs.
The shops at risk of closing will be placed under review and monitores over the next 12 to 18 months. They will primarily be in towns and locations where Boots has more than one store.
While Boots has denied that it has a ‘major programme’ in place, a spokesperson said that it is: “always reviewing underperforming stores and opportunities for consolidation”.
“We are being realistic about the future and that we will need to be agile to adapt to the changing landscape,” it added.
Last month Walgreens had announced that it would be prepared to take ‘decisive steps’ to reduce costs as part of a ‘significant restructuring’.
The review of duplicate stores follows Boots’ previous announcement in February that 350 jobs were at risk in its Nottingham head office, amid plans to reduce costs by 20%.
Boots’ UK portfolio currently consists of nearly 2,500 shops.